Dryer Vent Hazards – October is Fire Prevention Month
When you hear “household fire hazards”, the first place many people think of is the kitchen. However, you should be equally concerned about the laundry room as a fire hazard hotspot.
Without the proper care and maintenance, your clothes dryer could essentially become a tinderbox. Understanding the causes of laundry room fires and the best way to prevent them can help keep your home and family safe.
Dryer Vent Hazards
One of the most common causes of laundry room fires is a clogged dryer vent. Dryer vents can become clogged with lint over time, creating a major fire hazard. When the airflow is restricted, heat builds up and could potentially ignite the lint. In addition to lint, there are a few other things that can cause dryer vent fires. If your dryer is not properly vented to the outside, flammable gases can build up inside and combust. In order to avoid this, have your dryer vents cleaned on a regular basis by a professional.
Replace Dryer Vent Hose
A flexible or rigid hose connects your dryer to the floor or wall, connecting it to the outside vent. Over time, dryer vent hoses can become crushed or kinked, creating crevices where lint can become trapped. The build-up of lint can inhibit airflow and increases the risk of fire. If you notice any damage to your vent hose, have it replaced immediately.
Don’t Forget the Outside Vent
Another dryer vent hazard is failing to clean the outside exhaust vent. It should be cleaned at least once a year to prevent lint buildup. Make sure to inspect your dryer vent regularly for any blockages caused by falling leaves, branches, or other debris.
Keep the Lint Trap Clean
We get it – this seems like a no-brainer. However, when you’re rushing around, trying to keep up with all your other chores and responsibilities, it can be easy to forget to clean the lint trap. It should be cleaned after each dry load. You should also deep clean your lint trap a couple of times a year as dryer sheet and other residues can build up and clog the lint trap. To deep clean your lint trap, first, remove the lint by hand. You may also want to vacuum it. Then scrub both sides using hot water and mild detergent. Rinse the screen thoroughly and make sure it is completely dry before putting it back into the dryer.
Beyond the Lint Trap
Dryer vent hazards are not the only dangers lurking in your laundry room. Lint can bypass the lint trap, especially if it isn’t cleaned properly. You’re probably thinking that’s not a big deal because it will exit through the dryer vent. However, that’s not always the case. Some of that lint will get trapped, build up, and can be ignited by the heat of the dryer, resulting in a fire.
In order to clean out your dryer, you need to open up the machine, exposing the mechanics and wiring. Without the proper training and experience, you could do more harm than good. The best way to get rid of lint inside your dryer is to have it professionally cleaned. Many appliance service providers will do this in conjunction with dryer vent cleaning.
Don’t Overload the Dryer
Overloading your dry can lead to excess lint and restricted airflow – the perfect combination for a potential dryer fire. You also want to avoid putting clothes in the dryer with chemical stains such as paint or gasoline. Even though you’ve washed them, some of the chemicals can remain and be ignited by the heat of the dryer.
Avoid Dryer Vent Hazards with Jersey Coast Appliance
Keeping your lint trap clean and being careful about what you put in your dryer is a great start to preventing a dryer fire. However, regularly scheduling dryer and vent cleaning is the best way to avoid dryer vent hazards.
Although some DIY websites suggest that homeowners can clean their dryer and the vent themselves, hiring appliance maintenance experts is the safer option. Jersey Coast Appliance has a team of professional appliance service technicians, master technicians, and certified support personnel dedicated to serving our customers with honesty and integrity. To protect yourself from a potential dryer fire, schedule a professional dryer and vent cleaning today.